Nursing homes often use physical restraints, such as vest or leg restraints, to prevent patient injury. Most commonly, these devices are used to prevent at-risk residents from suffering accidental falls or performing self-harm when the staff are out of the room.
However, nursing homes can do many things to reduce or even eliminate the need for restraints. For instance, many facilities may be improved by:
- Removing tripping and falling hazards, such as tables and trays with non-locking wheels
- Providing patients with free use of walkers, canes, wheelchairs, non-slip stockings, and other amenities
- Adapting patients’ environments with alarms, proper lighting, ergonomic seating, and non-skid surfaces
- Offering many different physical and recreational activities, including adequate exercise and outdoor time
- Carefully assessing the needs of each patient, such as hunger, thirst, toilet needs, sleeping habits, and exercise, and adapting care to meet the residents’ routines rather than the facility's schedule
- Proper training of each staff member on the individualized needs of each resident
- Employing enough staff members to adequately respond to residents’ needs on an individual basis
- Providing residents with an opportunity to socialize, including encouraging interactions with volunteers, family, and friends
It is important to remember that if any item is used to restrict movement, it can be considered a restraint. Belts, wrist restraints, chairs, bed rails, and even prescription medication can be used as restraints—and any of them can cause long-lasting physical and emotional damage for your loved one.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured in a Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.